The ISPCA has issued a warning that pets do not make good Christmas gifts and should never be bought on a whim or given as a surprise. 


Any new puppy, kitten or even adult animal placed in a new home can be frightened and nervous after being separated from his/her siblings.


What a new pet really needs is a quiet, calm, safe home where routines can be established to get everyone off to a good start - the festive season is really not the best time to get a new pet.


ISPCA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andrew Kelly said: “If you are thinking of giving a puppy or any other animal as a present this Christmas please reconsider. Pets do not make good Christmas gifts and should never be given as a surprise. There are a number of unscrupulous breeders who cater for the Christmas market so buyers please beware. Taking on a pet is a long term commitment that can affect your life for the next 15 years so it is important to ensure you have adequate time and financial resources to care for your pet responsibly.”



However, if you have made an informed decision about getting a family pet, the charity advises you wait until after the Christmas period and visit your local rescue centre for advice.


Pets adopted from the ISPCA National Animal Centre will be health-checked, vaccinated, neutered/spayed and micro-chipped. 


ISPCA Carmel Murray, Public Relations Officer said: “It is not the case that on Stephen’s Day we see an influx of unwanted pets being abandoned, however we do see a problem later in the spring and summer months when pet owners plan to go on holiday and realise they need to pay kennelling fee’s. At this stage puppies may have lost the ‘puppy appeal’ and are growing fast and becoming a nuisance due to the lack of training and socialisation”.


As a charitable organisation, the ISPCA relies on public support for approximately 90% of their funds to continue their vital work rescuing animals that need help and rehabilitation. If you can this Christmas, please make a donation to support their important work.